4 predictions for global hoteliers in 2019 and beyond

Tourism around the globe continues to rise, with over 1.3 billion arrivals in 2017 according to the World Tourism Organization—a 7% increase over the previous year and the highest increase since 2009.

That trend is expected to continue for the foreseeable future, with some organizations predicting the figure to rise beyond 1.8 million by 2030.

Couple that growth trend with the increase in technology usage and a mobile-savvy customer base, hoteliers must consider the best ways to serve their guests in 2019 and beyond. These three trends will shape the technology landscape for the hotel industry in the coming years and are worthy of consideration and investment from brands who want to stay ahead of the curve.

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

(Contributed by Craig Witt, executive vice president at MotionPoint)

Mobile will continue to dominate 

Global mobile commerce was up 40% in 2017 and in 2019, experts predict that 70% of the US$2.32 billion in ecommerce sales will come from mobile transactions.

Search engines already favor mobile-friendly sites in their rankings, and search is a critical channel for the hotel sector. It’s increasingly important for brands to localize their mobile site content for specific regional audiences—from providing contact information of local properties in native languages, to offering payment options that reflect the preferences of regional customers. 

Hoteliers must also create engaging, authentic in-language digital experiences that will satisfy the expectations of their guests in mobile-dominated markets. 

Omnichannel content translation is key 

Many hotel brands understand the value of providing a translated experience for customers who visit their websites. But with digital experiences spanning multiple channels in a modern customer journey, translating content in other channels becomes increasingly important, too. 

To build brand continuity and relevance in global markets, hoteliers should consider how they’re presenting translated content to their current and prospective guests in real-time channels like social media and online customer support. It’s important that they’re also extending translation to valuable marketing channels like email, mobile applications and digital advertising. 

Localizing content beyond the website can help customers find your brand more easily via search, drive more organic website traffic, and boost international brand awareness to build trust in competitive global markets. 

Localized VR is on the rise 

Ever-increasing investments in virtual reality technologies have created an opportunity for consumer-focused brands—including hotels—to create distinctive virtual experiences for their guests.

Ecommerce giants like Amazon and Alibaba are already creating immersive VR shopping experiences for their customers, and hotels can (and should!) pay close attention to how consumers respond to the ability to experience brands and their products—and even complete transactions—in virtual environments. 

But global brands have an additional challenge: how can they create immersive virtual experiences localized for any global language to serve their international audiences in authentic ways? 

The same technologies that allow brands to provide in-language experiences for customers online may soon be capable of translating VR-based experiences, from product voiceovers to text and imagery displayed in virtual worlds. And content translated for central digital channels like websites may someday be easily repurposed for VR environments using the same technology. 

Technology and localization go hand-in-hand

In an increasingly competitive and real-time global marketplace, hotel brands can get a leg up on the competition by creating relevant, localized experiences for guests across the digital landscape. 

Translated websites provide a strong anchor for smart global brands to create a highly personalized, localized and authentic digital experience to their guests. And by keeping an eye on critical emerging trends, hoteliers can learn to extend that experience to the technology platforms of both today and tomorrow.